We’ve been eager for a long time to speak with RON, the mastermind behind the project STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION (SDF), who is responsible for theme songs in anime such as Kyoukai no Kanata, Shokugeki no Souma, Gangsta. and more. Now that he’s back in action after a three-year silence, we quickly took the opportunity to get to know more about SDF’s latest work and upcoming plans.
It’s great to finally see you back with the SDF project! To lightly start things off; we know SDF is your “sound-making project” but what does the name “STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION” actually mean and represent?
I always liked the name “STEREO DIVE” and have used it as the title for my websites and blogs. I added “FOUNDATION” to the project name in order for it to become the name of a place where many people gather together.
Since we didn’t see any new music from SDF for about three years, we’re curious about what you were you focusing on during the downtime?
I focused on producing anime theme songs and background music, and wrote songs for various artists too.
With that in mind, is it different composing for anime, which typically has a set direction, compared to SDF where you have complete freedom?
When writing anime theme songs, there is no big difference inside or outside SDF. The genre is basically directed by the anime production team, so I essentially create music that fits the world of the particular anime. Therefore, SDF does not necessarily mean “complete freedom”, but I do have tendencies; lately, I tend to apply glitch effect to vocals and instruments.
Your comeback involves the speedy single “Chronos” released back in October 2019, featured in the food anime “Shokugeki no Souma: Shin no Sara”. How does the song tie in with the anime? (In Greek mythology Chronos is the personification of time.)
We cannot live without the help of others. Just like how the protagonist in the anime believes in his friends, SDF and its music are also made possible thanks to the loving support of staff members and fans, and I appreciate that fact. As time cannot be reversed, let’s believe in our choices and live with our heads up high.
Not long after the release of “Chronos”, you announced your first album “STEREO DIVE” which was released today! What is the general theme of this album and did you compose the music with the mindset that they would be performed live?
I aimed for songs that would be loved by both fans who have known and liked SDF from before, and those who recently got to know SDF. We had concerts scheduled prior to making the album, as such, the mindset of performing the songs live was somewhat already at the back of my mind.
We also heard you shut yourself away from everyone for two months while working on the album?
Since I was working on other projects as well, I actually shut myself away for more than two months, but I think the time I was able to work on SDF totaled to around one month. It was the first time in my life that I skipped the new year holidays. Time flew by so quickly, especially when I was working on Chronos it kind of felt like I experienced time travel.
You’ve included some older songs in the album, but if we were to narrow our sight to only the new songs, which of those would you consider more experimental?
That would be the song Coda, this was the first time I included a chorus part in a song where I participate as the vocalist. I included it due to suggestions made by my staff, and I think I might not have created a song of this type without those suggestions.
We noticed your very first release and single, “Daisy”, was ordered as the last song on the album. Out of curiosity, was this a conscious decision?
Songs included on my singles are quite electronic, and since Chronos is not in the album, it turned out to be very electronic overall. Therefore, I decided to order Daisy—which is quite organic in its sound—as the last song, to make the whole album more balanced.
Your live performance on February 16 is just days away! How are you planning to make this an unforgettable experience for the fans?
It will be the first live performance as SDF, so I hope everyone will enjoy it. While planning the setlist and arrangements, I was thinking about how I could make it more interesting instead of simply playing the songs one after another—like in the album.
Considering the increased activity we’ve seen from you lately, what can fans expect in the near future? Perhaps more releases or even overseas performances?
I wish to do both. Since I’m working with a different team now, I hope to show my fans different things in the future. I’m also interested in collaborating with artists overseas, and if I get the chance, I hope I can make it happen.
Please leave a message to fans who have eagerly been waiting for your return!
I will continue to put my effort into making great music, so please look forward to my future work. Thank you.
Make sure to check out the long-awaited new album STEREO DIVE which released today on February 5! We want to thanks RON of SDF for sitting down with us and sharing his insightful knowledge.
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